Statement from Carin Ulrich, DTU President
To: The District 15 Community
Re: Response to District 15 “Update on DTU Negotiations”
Date: February 28, 2013
The District 15 Transportation Union is both saddened and stunned by the statement sent by the District to the school community this evening.
The District should be ashamed of itself for this type of behavior. Sadly, this behavior is just one example of what we’ve been dealing with for the past six months.
Over the past three years, the DTU has continually reached out to the District with a spirit of collaboration and problem-solving. When negotiating dates were established, we clearly committed to four dates and were fully prepared to finish contract negotiations by the fourth date.
When we had our first formal bargaining session with the District on Monday, the District presented a contract proposal which completely eliminated nearly every agreement we ever had with the District. The District refused to provide any substantive explanation for why it chose to strike historic agreements which were written to provide a safe, reliable, professional, efficient, and collaborative transportation department.
Additionally, the District has deceived the public by claiming its decision to put transportation up for bid was because of “fiscal responsibility.” The Union has proved the District actually saves millions of dollars by keeping transportation in-house. But sadly, most of the public is completely unaware that less than a week after the initial bids were rejected due to legal problems with those bids, the District again put transportation out for re-bid.
We need to review the District’s contract proposal with our membership. We need to review and analyze the new bids. All of this takes time, and the District’s timeline is completely unreasonable.
This District does not want the public to see how it behaves privately. This District uses angry rhetoric filled with threats, dishonesty and lies, and has no transparency with us or the community.
This is why we believe it is in everyone’s interest to have full transparency at the bargaining table. During the first day of negotiations we proposed opening negotiations to all stakeholders, including parents, our members, the full Board of Education, and the press.
The District rejected full transparency and rejected our offer to negotiate in the open.
Our offer to negotiate in public still remains. We are scheduled to negotiate on April 16, 18, 23, and 30, and are hopeful this District will move its actions out of the closet and into the light.
We want this District to do what’s best for kids and our community and negotiate a transparent and open contract.
Above all, we’re committed to providing our kids with the safest bus service in the world. We always have, and we always will.